Measures of Effectiveness for the Information-Age Navy
The Effects of Network-Centric Operations on Combat Outcomes
Published Apr 8, 2002
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In military operations, information has always been every bit as vital as fuel or ammunition in achieving favorable outcomes. Today, the need to reduce decision timelines highlights its importance. The Navy postulates that network-centric operations will enhance the effectiveness of combat systems by allowing commanders to mass effects from great distances. At issue is verification of this assumption. How can the effectiveness of network-centric information systems be linked to combat outcomes? The authors seek to identify how information affects outcomes and determine how to measure the link between the two. This report creates a framework for developing measures to help the Navy decide how network-centric operations affect combat outcomes and which information systems work best. The authors demonstrate a proof-of-concept tool that can generate several alternative network-centric command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems. Using a spreadsheet model, they take the first steps toward developing formulas to help the Navy codify an approach to measuring combat effectiveness in network-centric operations.